Whether you’re traveling internationally or within the confines of your country, there is one major barrier that you are bound to face: linguistic barriers. The differences in the languages of various regions of the world pose to be a major hindrance to people who are traveling, especially for work purposes.
Thankfully, technology has evolved leaps and bounds in the past few years and now, your digital devices can be used to help you translate foreign languages into a language of your understanding. This greatly helps reduce the barriers or problems a traveler might face while touring the world.
The software used to translate languages into different ones is known as translation software and they are widely used by people around the world. The software has been compiled into applications that can be used on various platforms such as iOS, Android, Websites, Windows, macOS, etc.
Today, we are going to compile a list of the best translation apps available for the Windows platform. They are as follows:
To start off this list, we have chosen arguably the most famous translator app that exists on the market today. Google Translate, launched in April 2006, is a service that relies on neural machine translation to translate user input into various languages. It can translate words and sentences into a possible total of 103 languages. It’s Android app gives you the option to download language packs for specific languages. This means that even if you are offline, or in a low network coverage area, the app will work perfectly fine in translating sentences or phrases into the language that you have downloaded the pack for.
Google Translate offers a myriad of functions such as handwriting translation, full webpage translation, speech translation (in a limited number of languages), image recognition and translation (used for signboards, warning signs, etc.), full document translation and typed words translation. Moreover, there is already a Google Translate integration into the web browser Google Chrome, which means that if you visit a site that has content written in a foreign language, the website will automatically be translated without a third-party application.
The Translator, originally known as the Bing Translator, is the official translation app made by Microsoft. It was first launched with the launch of Microsoft’s Metro-style OS, Windows 8 and has since been a part of the Windows OS. The Translator supports over 60 languages. It has one of the cleanest and most intuitive user interfaces we’ve ever seen in a translating app. Like Google Translate, it offers typed text translation, voice translation, and image translation.
However, unlike any other app on this list, it offers real-time cross-language translation, that allows you to have a conversation with a person in a different language. It is based heavily on the app that we reviewed in the Best Translation Apps for the Android 2020 list. This is because of the use of UWP by Microsoft to build apps so that they can be used on all Windows-based devices.
It also offers phrasebooks, which allow you to use verified translations in your speech, yielding authenticity to your conversations. It also shows you transliterations so as to help you pronounce your translations correctly.
Microsoft Translator also allows you to download language packs so as to allow you to translate sentences and phrases without internet access, which is a major boon if you’re in a situation such as an important business meeting with foreign clients and your internet gives out while you’re using your laptop as a translator.
The translator is AI-powered and hence, it delivers language processing very similar to how actual humans would converse.
Mate Translate is a browser extension that is available for Microsoft Edge, the official pre-installed browser that comes with Windows. It is also available for multiple other browsers, but since we are talking about Windows-only apps, we will only mention the Edge extension since it is a pre-installed app on every Windows PC.
The Mate Translate app allows you to translate content to and from 103 languages, thereby making it an extremely powerful translator. It has a well-built UI that also supports dark mode, which is preferable for a large multitude of users that love dark mode. The app also provides pronunciation guidance for every word that is translated so that you can pronounce it easily. It has a synchronization option by which the user’s entire phrasebook, as well as translation history, is synchronized with all the devices and browsers that has Mate’s app installed.
For some languages, Mate gives you the option to make your translation gender-specific, so that your translated speech/sentences appear and sound more authentic. The experience of using the app is also extremely simple and elegant. This app is meant for those users who translate multiple webpages or web content every day and don’t prefer to have multiple browser tabs open for translation purposes.
Pairaphrase is one of the more enterprise-focused solutions listed in this rundown. It is a professional translation service with a functional database of over 57 languages. One of the most key features of this app is the presence of a secure translator tool. The secure translator allows organizations (or even individuals) to upload multiple files at once, which allows the program to translate them to their target languages simultaneously.
The secure translator supports file formats such as AutoCAD, InDesign, amongst others, which makes it an exceedingly useful tool in the enterprise-grade translation of official documents. Moreover, it has a plugin if you need to work with fairly common file formats such as .docx, .xlsx, .pptx and other MS Office apps. If you want to translate smaller pieces of text, the app allows you to securely copy text onto your clipboard and paste it into the translator. The translator gets scrubbed and erased once the instance of the app is closed.
One of the most important features of this app is the voice-over translator. This allows you to upload a text file and download the translated version as an audio file which contains a recitation of the uploaded text file in one of 18 languages. It also includes team collaboration tools that allow you to collaborate with teammates from around the world. Unlike all the other apps that are free on this list, the Pairaphrase app will set you back by a few bucks. The packages start at $99 and the subscriptions start at $2,199. You can learn more about the perfect package for you on their website.